The major crackdown on the Popular Front of India throughout India by the NIA and the Enforcement Directorate has not just raised questions on its functioning but also a demand for a nationwide ban.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said the state had long asked the Centre to ban the PFI for good. The NIA has arrested 11 PFI members from Assam.
In August, when “jihadist” modules were busted one after the other in the state, Sarma had said it was the PFI that was creating an ecosystem for such activities not only in Assam but also the country. He had even raised the issue of putting a ban on the PFI after the incident of violence in Gourkhuti.
“The Assam government has consistently requested to ban the PFI. It is difficult as the PFI is a national organisation but after the Gourkhuti incident, we were convinced that it needs to be banned. We are investigating the nexus between the PFI and terror modules. It creates an ecosytem and, on the basis of that, people are drawn to jihad,” Sarma told mediapersons.
After Assam PFI leaders were taken into custody during the searches conducted on Thursday, the state witnessed a series of protests at different places.
“As part of the nationwide search operation, Assam police arrested PFI cadre yesterday. We had specific input against them and have registered a case against PFI demonstrations. We are also looking into who instigated the protests,” the chief minister said.